Danville voter turnout could be highest in eight years

Danville registrar anticipates about a 50 percent turnout

DANVILLE, Va. – Ahead of Tuesday's midterm election, Danville Registrar Peggy Petty was expecting turnout similar to the 2010 election when Pittsylvania County native Robert Hurt was on the ballot for U.S. Representative.

Petty said 50 percent of voters came out to the polls and cast their ballot in that election.

The U.S. Senate election may be what draws people to the polls more than anything else this time.

Republican Corey Stewart is hoping to unseat Democrat Tim Kaine.

Over the summer, Stewart made some controversial remarks about Danville, portraying the city negatively.

After his initial comments during a debate with Kaine, he made a campaign stop in Danville and defended his remarks.

There were plenty of people who showed up both in support and in opposition during that stop.

"We haven't seen these numbers since 2010," Petty said. "For this election, we've had just a few over 1,000 absentee ballots cast. So I'm expecting about 14,000 people to turn out, about a 50 percent turnout."

For comparison, she said about 900 absentee ballots were cast in 2010.

As far as which party, Democrat or Republican, will have a stronger showing at the polls in Danville, that's hard to say.

In Virginia, you do not have to register as a Democrat or Republican prior to voting, so there's really no way to know if more Democrats or Republicans voted absentee or if one party has more registered voters than the other.

"Years ago when the voting night came, you would see that usually a Republican would carry Danville. That has switched now. Now, when the results come in, more than likely a Democratic candidate will carry Danville," Petty said. "Now, certain precincts will lean more heavily when the results come in. You'll see a difference in that."

Regardless of who you vote for, all Virginia voters must have a photo ID in order to cast a ballot.

Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Bus service is free in Danville on Election Day.

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